22 Jan 2014

Wet and windy weather set to return

Since the stormy weather that saw us through Christmas and New Year, the weather has been relatively calmer.

Yes, there have still been days of rain, but they’ve been interspersed with drier, brighter days, offering respite to the areas that were hit hard by flooding.

However, there are signs that it will turn more unsettled later this week and into next week, delivering more wet and windy weather that will no doubt raise concerns about the risk of flooding.


This winter has been remarkable in comparison to recent years, with temperatures above average and a distinct lack of the snowfalls that we’ve become used to in recent winters.

Why is it turning more unsettled?

Once again, the jet stream is going to be powering up over the next few days over the Atlantic Ocean, which will develop some deep areas of low pressure.

However, in comparison to the stormy weather we had earlier in the month, there are subtle differences. Forthcoming areas of low pressure will reach their peak intensity to the north and west of the UK, rather than directly over us.

somerset_floodfields_g_wpSo the severity of any wet and windy weather is likely to be a good notch down from the storms that hit us through Christmas and New Year.

Nevertheless, with the ground still saturated and the river levels still relatively high, it will only take modest amounts of rain to cause problems.

How much rain is likely to fall?

There are still uncertainties with the exact details of where areas of low pressure will form and move, but the weather computer models are showing a definite trend.

Much of the UK will see 15-30mm during the next five days, with western areas seeing 30-50mm, with that rising to as much as 75mm over the hills and mountains.

The first batch of heavy rain will arrive on Friday, for which the Met Office have issued a yellow warning for southern coastal counties of England.

The Environment Agency’s three day flood risk forecast (image below) highlights a similar area to be at risk of flooding in the coming days, although at this stage the risk is low.3day_floodrisk_21stJan_EA_wp

However, this could well change into next week as successive bands of rain spread in off the Atlantic.

Any sign of colder weather?

At the moment, there are no signs of any significantly colder weather, although there will be bursts of colder air on the backside of low pressure systems as they cross the UK.

This will bring a risk of some snow – mainly over the hills and mountains. But there is a chance next week that places closer to sea-level could see a few flakes, although the detail is still uncertain and it’s unlikely to amount to much.

Don’t forget, you can get the latest forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website. I also post regular updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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